About Us

We are a married couple who retired and moved to Thailand in 2014. You are welcome to join us and our travel monkeys Sun Wukong and Malcolm Jr. on our adventures! We hope you enjoy the trip as much as we do.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Food Is Art ..... Art Is Food

Before we moved I was hoping to meet some Thai people to become friends with and eventually...maybe...feel a closeness almost like family. So, lets start with the meeting people part. We have a darling woman from the Philippines living down the hall from us. She has been here for over a year teaching English to Kindergarten children. I was so happy when we met in the elevator and in the hall a few times and was hoping to connect with her without coming across as a weird old lady. “Hi, Would you like to go for lunch someday?” That was Chissy asking! “YES, we would love to!”

We went to her favorite cafe called The Meeting Room / Art Cafe. It is in the lower part of a very old, traditional Thai teak house located on Charoen Rat Rd across the street from Wat Kate. The courtyard has a large metal tin man sculpture to greet you, complete with birds nesting in his stomach and perched on his shoulder. At night he will light your path to the door.

Photo by Chissy

I had a sense something very special was about to happen when I placed my shoes with all the others. Since arriving, I have only had the opportunity to take off my shoes when entering temples and in doing so brings feelings of respect, affinity, acceptance and appreciation. I felt the same way here. Stepping over the threshold I was immediately welcomed by the owner, Jo. His genuine caring that we were there was overwhelming and his eyes conveyed, “Where have you been , I missed you!” The smell of coffee and warm weathered teak wood surrounded me like an antique blanket ready to whisper stories from the past.

Photo by Chissy

Photo by Chissy

Photo by Chissy

My heart was skipping a beat as I took a seat at the large community table. Against one wall from floor to ceiling were shelves of books to read, behind me was a table with a display of fanciful metal sculptures, and more shelves of beautiful free form designs. Hanging on the walls and leaning everywhere else are paintings done using various media. There are several glass cases with hand made jewelry, small statues, note cards and so much more. I could easily spend hours here feeling the creativity of the artist that built the house to the young up and coming artist’s who display their work here. The best thing of all......there is not a sign anywhere that says, “Do Not Touch.” I will also add that his food is delicious and the smoothies are truly amazing!

Photo by Chissy

Photo by Chissy

Jo has created a separate special art gallery space at the other end of the room for featured artists to display or perform their art. When we attended the current show the next evening we met Jo's wife Fon. She catered the evening with home made finger foods including small delicate heart shaped scones. I found out that Fon owns her own bakery!

Off to Melt Away Bakery we went for lunch the next day. It is located directly across from Chiang Mai Gate Hotel on Suriwong Rd. Like The Meeting Room, Fon has a beautiful courtyard with hanging plants and cloth table coverings with little plants on each table. I took my time to look around before I noticed......The Shoes! Oh, this was going to be another great experience!

Chissy, Vince and I said hello to Fon and she was smiling from ear to ear and so very happy to see us. We took a seat and chatted while Fon scurried around from her back cook room to the front baking room. She explained that she remodeled the space from the floor up and it is truly lovely. The colors are happy and calming and the little touches are very nice indeed. Small glass jars of loose tea and a beautiful large glass jar and drink glasses to help yourself to fresh water.

Wine and Chocolate!

The cold case had the biggest apple pie I have ever seen along with brownies, REAL cheesecake, and many other mouth watering delights just waiting to be gobbled! But we were there for lunch! She was making Green Curry Pot Pies. Chissy and I had the vegetarian and Vince had the chicken. We watched her roll out the dough, fill the pans with curry goodness and place the top crust on, all the while humming along to some great music from the sound system and smiling like a woman in love.

Soon the smell was making me dizzy with anticipation. She gave us our pies and like little children were told, “Be careful, it's hot!” We couldn't wait and were quickly waving our hands in front of our mouths while trying to get out a Mmmmm sound at the same time.

There is something called being in the Zone. Where you are memorized, hypnotized, and bewitched by a moment in time. We have been fortunate enough to taste some amazing food by some well known chefs with Michelin stars to their credit and ate plates of Northern Thai food made specifically for us by two Grandmothers in their 70's when we stayed with them in Den Chai. We know when magic happens! If I had to choose, I would re-live the experience in Den Chai over the Michelin Stars any day! Fon's Green Curry Pie crust was buttery, flaky and melt in your mouth delicious and the curry was over the top amazing with the perfect amount of heat....not too much, not too little. With every bite the flavors hit different parts of my mouth, lingered and when I was bursting full, temped me to take just one more bite. Oh.....did I say I loved it? She was making Red Curry with potatoes the next day so we ordered three to have for dinner with Chissy before we leave for Japan.

Jo's passion is art and if you ever want to find out the pulse of the scene in Chiang Mai, have a great coffee or smoothie and feel like you are in your own museum where you can touch all the things please stop by. The Meeting Room

Fon's passion is art. She is brilliantly gifted at her craft and it shows in the meticulous way she goes about her work. She told me she dreams about her next creation and is not happy until it is exactly as she envisioned. She truly is a woman in love! Stop by to taste some perfect cheesecake, gooey brownies, savory pies which can be vegetarian or not, and she is working to include some gluten free and vegan goodies also. Plain and simple........Fon Makes Magic! Please stop by.  Melt Away Bakery

We were meeting Ursula for dinner at Kao Kab Kang on Chang Klang Rd. This is our second time here. Both times we were treated as if we were special guests and all of the food is delicious. 

After dinner we walked to her apartment and stopped at a small market just down the street from the restaurant. I wanted a flashlight because we would be walking in the dark back to the main road. The woman showed me what she had and handed it to her husband who opened it for me and put the batteries in to make sure it would work. As he was doing that, his wife handed me a bunch of Lychees from her garden....”Organic”, she said. There was no hidden addenda or was she trying to sell them to me. They were a gift!

It was then that I noticed they both spoke fluent English so I chatted with the man for a few minutes. They moved from Bangkok two years ago because they love Chiang Mai. I told him we love Chiang Mai and also live here now. I was surprised how happy he was to hear that. I thanked them for the fruit and left. How many times in one day can you be treated so special? I am humbled.

The past couple of days have not been all about discovering delicious food. We met new people and were exposed to the generous heart that is Thailand. Laughing, having fun and creating lasting memories in special places with special people is a dream come true.

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